Choosing the right food vendor for your event is a very important and crucial task. As a professional Event Manager, I have seen brides get disappointed knowing how things might turn out to be leaving their wedding recipe/meals in the hands of family members/friends or less qualified caterers to handle! At Times they get devasted.
No doubt finding the perfect food vendor is an essential part of any event. Weddings, corporate events, parties and family gatherings are all times when the services of a caterer might be needed. Unfortunately, there is no standardized grading system for caterers and anybody can start their own catering business.
With years of experience, i be sharing with you the best way on how to choose a good caterer so that the food at your event is something palatable and delicious to the admiration of your guest.
1. Referals from friends, family and Colleagues
No amount of advertising can replace a good recommendation from somebody you know and trust. If a friend or acquaintance had a great caterer for their Event, then this is a caterer you should talk to for your next big event. Conversely, bad reviews should also be heeded.
2. Schedule a meet up for Food Tasting-
Food vendors who provide meals for large events should offer to provide you with a tasting, in order to gain your business for a large contract. Keep in mind, however, that this tasting will be the very best product the food vendure can produce. In 2010 when I handled a one of Nigerian top models’ wedding one of the key thing we didnt overlook was to ensure Mrs. Morrey meets with all the vendors for her wedding. Its no surprising that this helps, as she wasnt so assured with the food vendor’s meal. Imagine if we hadnt schedule that meeting, you know how terrible the big day would been a disaster. It is important to know that there is often a huge difference in quality between preparing a meal for 2 compared to 500.
3. Consider the Food Vendor’s Speciality-
Some caterers specializes in larger scale events and have the equipment and expertise to professionally handle larger numbers of guests. Other food vendors specialise in smaller intimate events, cocktail parties, or even just delivery of catered food. Be wary of the food vendor who claims to be able to do it all, chances are that they don’t excel at any of it.
4. Try out as many as food vendors as possible. We recommend to try a minimum of five (5) Food Vendors before you finally settle for one after your satisfied with tastings and Quotation!
After selecting your preferred vendor, provide your good vendor with your date, time of reception, number of guests, level of Hospitability you wish for them to provide!
5. Arrange on the kind of Serving Style Setting you want. Would you prefer a Buffet or family style arrangement. A Menu item stations, a formal dinner or different option?
Ask the median cost per person for their service and what comes with the package
Ask for ratio of servers to guests(how many servers to a table)
Besides catering what other services can they provide, would their be sweets, small chops etc)
Remember to book a food vendor atleast 4 months before the d- day.
6. Ask if the chef who was present during the tasting will be around for your event, this is because, sometimes doing the food taste period most Food vendors uses their best chef, while another chef is seen handling the food on the D-Day.
We hope this tips helps.